Annual Walk to the Hill takes place March 10

Issue March 2004

Join MBA President Richard C. Van Nostrand and other colleagues on Wednesday, March 10 in a "Walk to the Hill" to advocate for level funding for legal services throughout the commonwealth.

The annual Walk to the Hill takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Great Hall of the State House. Members of the bar will lobby legislators to ensure legal services continue to be fully funded.

The event, which is cosponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association,the Boston Bar Association and Equal Justice Coalition, allows attorneys to speak with their legislators about the critical need for legal services for the indigent. By providing legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford to pay for a private attorney, legal aid ensures fairness and efficiency in the administration of justice.

Due to a shortage of legal resources, legal aid programs must turn away a majority of eligible people. In recent years the Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, American Corporate Counsel Association, Massachusetts Judges Conference and many others have joined the call for additional funding for legal aid.

The declining economy has reduced other sources of funding for legal aid programs. With the closings and mergers of several major law firms, donations to legal aid programs declined by 7 percent in FY03 and are expected to drop dramatically this year.